LAHORE: The 40th Punjab Open Golf Championship, spans over five days, commenced on Wednesday (October 13). While the first two days were reserved for segments like senior professionals, junior professionals, senior amateurs and women amateurs, the last three days — from Friday — are solely engaged for champion golf professionals and amateurs who play to a handicap of ten and below. And all this is happening at the PAF Skyview Golf Course in Lahore backed by Punjab Golf Association, PSO and EXD. After the conclusion of Friday’s round, the golf professional in command was Mohammad Tariq of Islamabad with an outstanding display of quality golfing which enabled him to produce a round of gross 66, six under par. This reflected a marvelous effort and entitled him to occupy top position on the leaderboard in this Rs.7.5 millon prize money contest of first rate golf professionals. Tariq, an experienced player of merit with quite a few top ten finishes to his credit, yesterday looked poised to spring a surprise in this championship. His technique is exemplary and if nerves supported his determination he just might end up in the forefront. However there are still two rounds to go and the established names like Shabbir Ahmad, Ahmad Baig, Mohammad Matloob and Mohammad Munir will endeavour to vanquish his progress. Other contenders looking suitably placed were Mohammad Shahzad of Lahore Garrison at a score of gross 68, Zubair Hussain (PAF) 69 and the number one ranked professional Shabbir also at gross 69. At gross 70 were placed Taimoor Khan (PAF Peshawar), Mohammad Alam (PAF Skyview) and Ahmad Baig, also of PAF Skyview. All three are capable golf professionals, fit and young and eager and can fire up over the remaining two rounds on Saturday and Sunday. In the race for honours in amateur section the leader was Mohsin Zafar of Lahore Gymkhana with a round of 75 gross. Salman Jehangir (Gymkhana) was at 77 and Mohammad Shafi of Garrison is at 78.